May 28, 2021

Spirit Bear Clouds, a new woodblock

By Leon Loughridge
Spirit Bear Clouds, a new woodblock

Spirit Bear Clouds

Title Page to Folio Four of Gorge Songs. 


The fifth color run. 


Here is the start of a new woodblock. The image is from the Gorge Songs Series and was a small woodblock used on the title page of Folio Four.  I have loved the mood in the piece and have always wanted to develop it into a larger woodblock. 

 So, here is the start. The first challenge is that areas in a small image need less explanation than a larger image. As that area is expanded, how is that larger expanse handled? As a flat color field or a gradation? There is always drawing and color adjustments which means the larger version usually takes on a life of it own.  

 The first four color runs developed the cloud colors, moving from a very pale ochre as the first color run to an ochre with some red in it. With the darker ochre, I printed it as a gradation with the bottom darker.  

 The first blue printed only on the top half with a feathered edge at the bottom so it will blend in with the blue on the bottom half when printed.  The second blue color printed was on the bottom half. This time the top edge was feathered to blend with the previous color run. This is where the larger image starts to take on a life of it's own. I am not trying to mimic the small version exactly, more I am trying to capture the mood. On the small woodblock, the sky is printed with just two color. That just would not have the depth that I want for the full size image. These are issues I think about now but resolve when I start to carve and print the next color run. 


Spirit Bear Clouds woodblock